55% of Providers Will Not Attest to Stage 2 Meaningful Use in 2015

Although HHS recently submitted its proposed rule for stage 3 meaningful use, which doesn't begin until 2017, the program continues to be an issue for providers and hospitals.

Although HHS recently submitted its proposed rule for stage 3 meaningful use, which doesn’t begin until 2017, the program continues to be an issue for providers and hospitals.

The American Medical Association (AMA), which has repeatedly called for more flexibility in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, revealed that it will continue its efforts in 2015 for the adoption of solutions to the one-size-fits all meaningful use program.

In addition, a new poll from Medical Practice Insider and SERMO revealed that 55% of physicians do not plan to attest for meaningful use Stage 2 in 2015. The poll of more than 2000 physicians revealed a variety of reasons for skipping meaningful use in 2015.

For some, stage 2 seems impossible because it requires patients to e-mail and engage in the practice’s electronic health record (EHR), and for physicians whose patients are mostly older, this is not realistic.

One physician admitted that despite having completed stage 1 multiple times, instead of going on to stage 2, the physician prefers to stay with stage 1 for a number of reasons.

"I’ve done Stage 1 three times now. I have the option to do either Stage 2 or Stage 1 for the fourth time. I would rather stay with Stage 1 for now because my patients are reluctant to use messaging and I personally do not like the interface for my portal,” the family practitioner noted.

Others cited EHR usability as a barrier. The AMA is also concerned about EHR usability and is working with a committee of practicing physicians and health information technology experts to build a new framework, and is also working with EHR vendors, policy makers, healthcare systems, researchers, and physicians to drive improvements that advance high-quality, affordable care.

According to Medical Practice Insider, most comments were from specialists, who often face unique meaningful use challenges.